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Yours Maybe Serpentine Mineral

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Serpentine Rough Mineral

Hello Arthur,

How are you. My name is Omar and my brother owns a mine in Pakistan that we believe has a large deposit of jade, we are not sure though, but it seems to pass all the test, you see it passed the coolness test to the cheek and it makes a special sound when it is smashed with another jade, and when I scratch it there only seems to be a surface mark.

In my country we don’t know nothing about jade, but whatever this rock is we have a vast amount of it and can easily supply 10 tons a month. I don’t know your email address but would it be possible to contact me so that I can send you pictures of the different stones we have that I believe is jade. Thank you.

Omar, United Kingdom

Ask A Arthur Lau


Hi Omar

I have mentioned a few preliminary test for Jadeite Jade in my past previous posts in these links :

1) Jade Bangle Hear Me Out

2) Is this Jadeite Jade or plastic

3) The Mohs Hardness Test

Serpentine carvings

One has to be cautious when using these tests to ascertain whether a rough mineral is Jadeite Jade or some other mineral.  These are all quick and dirty test used when you are in the field with no gemological instruments other than your loupe, a quartz crystal or a tweezers.  These are negation and exclusion tests.  It eliminates other possibilities but you have to use other affirmative and key test to determine the actual mineral.

If a mineral does not pass through these tests, then it is definitely not Jadeite Jade.  But if it passes through these tests, one also cannot confirm that the raw mineral is Jadeite Jade.

By the pictures you sent me, I would think that they belong to the mineral group called Serpentine.  It has a hardness ranging from 2.5 to 6, a Refractive Index of 1.56 – 1.57 and a specific gravity of 2.57 (plus or minus 0.2).  Serpentine is also greasy like when polished.  Individual minute crystals of serpentine may be translucent but as a mass they are semi-translucent or opaque.

Other trade names of Serpentine are Bowenite, found in abundance in the USA and in Korea where they called in Korean Jade.  Serpentine is also found in abundance in the world.

Only a small portion of Serpentine are used as jewelry because of its abundance.  Most Serpentine are used for carvings in China.

Since you have some small slabs I suggest you send one of these to a school or a science lab to have it tested for specific gravity.  SG test is very simple and any high school students will be able to do it.  If you obtain an SG of around 2.56 then your mineral is Serpentine.

So far there are no deposits of Jadeite Jade found in Pakistan.  Perhaps in future deposits of Jadeite Jade may be found as Pakistan has a lot of minerals too.

I have posted most of the pictures you sent.  Any interested buyers can contact me and I will give them your email so that you can deal directly.

Thank you for your interest and good luck to you, Omar

A Arthur Lau

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I am a Graduate Gemologist trained at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in New York City, USA. I hold an MBA degree from Cranfield University, United Kingdom, and a Bachelor degree in Mathematics. My earlier profession was a banker until I found jade in Myanmar (Burma) in the early 90s. I have traveled to the fabled Hpakan Jade mines, and Mogok, the world’s famous rubies and sapphires mines in upper Burma, with my second son. Three of my children are also Graduate Gemologist, GIA, NYC and they deal in diamonds, gemstones and jade. 我是在美国纽约市的美国宝石学院(GIA)接受过培训的宝石研究学家。 我拥有英国克兰菲尔德大学的工商管理硕士学位和数学学士学位。我以前的职业是银行家,直到90年代初我在缅甸接触到玉石。我曾经和我的次子一起去过缅甸上流传说中的哈帕翡翠矿山和莫谷矿山, 莫谷矿山是世界上著名的红宝石和蓝宝石矿山。我的三个孩子都是纽约市GIA毕业的宝石研究学家, 他们专门处理钻石,宝石和玉石.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Hi Sarfaraz

    thank you for your excellent comment. Yes, most of the sources I know of Pakistan are serpentine/bowenite and so far no jadeite jade mines have been found there yet.

    As you have mentioned, there might be some deposits of jadeite which has not been found yet.

    arthur

  2. Most of the so called Jade stones in Pakistan have turned out to be serpentine/bowenite which are very closely chemically structured to Nephrite variety of Jade. There has been no occurence of Jadeite but it is not an impossibility of this. There are many scrupulous dealers here claiming some grossular garnet as Burmese Jadeite alongwith some Feldspars. The simple conclusion is apart from Burma there has been no documented case of classic Jadeite anywhere in Pakistan. I am a Jadeite hunter of Pakistan region and so far all I have seen is Serpentine variety.

  3. Thank you for the information I am getting this tested this week, I don’t think this is Jadiete but Nephrite because on the rough scale it is reading 6, but you are right the gravity is also important, I have more rocks which I think is Jadiete and I will post it in the following week. I will let you know what the test readings are.

    You could be right that it is serpentine, but one Chinese buyer purchased a very large quantity of the dark jade and I asked him whether it was jade and he said it was, but I know in China that people do use fake stones, and sell it as jade. But thank you for your advice I really appreciate it, you have great knowledge and this website is truly briliant as it has a lot of information in which an ameteur like me can learn a lot from.

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